University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Athropology


Volume 52 / Issue 3 (2010)


Issue Cover

Special Issue: Silk Road

On the cover: Yingpan Man, excavated from Yingpan, Yuli (Lop Nur) County, dates to the 3rd to 4th century CE. His clothing is finely made, and his painted mask is decorated with gold leaf.
Photo credit: Xinjiang Institute of Archaeology Collection)


The Silk Road – Chronology of Selected Travelers

By: Daniel C. Waugh

136–125, 119–115 BCE. Zhang Qian, emissary sent by Han Dynasty Emperor Wu Di to the “Western Regions,” who supplied important commercial and political intelligence. 629–645 CE. Xuanzang (Hsuan-tsang), Chinese Buddhist monk who traveled through Inner Asia to India, studied there, and once back in the Chinese capital Chang’an (Xian) was an important translator of Buddhist […]


Marco Polo’s Travels: Myth or Fact?

By: Daniel C. Waugh

In his own lifetime and even today, Marco Polo’s account of his travels has been branded a falsification. A late medieval reader might have asked how it is that there could be such wonders about which we have never heard. Why is it, the modern critic muses, that Marco so often seems to get the […]


The Silk Roads in History

By: Daniel C. Waugh

There is an endless popular fascination with the “Silk Roads,” the historic routes of economic and cultural exchange across Eurasia. The phrase in our own time has been used as a metaphor for Central Asian oil pipelines, and it it common advertising copy for the romantic exoticism of  expensive adventure travel. One would think that, in […]


The Luohan that Came from Afar

Research Notes

By: Nancy Shatzman Steinhardt

Among the myriad objects of world art, there are always some that continue to captivate the viewer and haunt the researcher. The tri-color glazed clay Luohan statue from Yi County (Yizhou), about 50 km southwest of the city limits of Beijing, is such an object in the Penn Museum. The mysteries that engulf this Luohan—a […]


Before the Silk Road

Book News & Reviews

By: Mandy Chan

The Prehistory of the Silk Road by E. E. Kuzmina. Victor H. Mair, ed. (Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007). 264 pp., 73 illustrations, cloth, $65.00, ISBN 978-0-8122-4041-2 Few regions in the world have captured popular imagination as much as the “Silk Road,” the overland trade routes that connected the great cities of Xian and […]


Museum Mosaic – Winter 2010

People, Places, Projects

By: Anonymous

Gift From Euseba And Warren Kamensky Endows Nagpra Position Penn Museum is pleased to announce a generous gift from Mr. Warren F. Kamensky, long-time Penn Museum member and volunteer, to endow the position of NAGPRA (Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act) Coordinator. The gift will directly support the full-time staff position currently held by […]


Ancient and Modern Foods from the Tarim Basin

What in the World?

By: E. N. Anderson

Walking through the exhibition Secrets of the Silk Road, one is amazed at the well-preserved mummies and colorful textiles. But perhaps the objects that we can identify with most are the food items that may have been meant to nourish the dead in the afterlife. Is that a spring roll? A wonton? Yes, and they are […]


Dr. Elfriede R. (Kezia) Knauer

3 July 1926– 7 June 2010 - Portrait

By: Donald White

Penn Museum has lost a highly regarded authority on the Silk Road just months before the appearance of this special issue of Expedition. Dr. Elfriede Knauer died after a long illness, shortly after agreeing to contribute to this issue. Kezia, as she was known to her family, friends, and colleagues, led an exceptional life. Born […]


Extraordinary Discoveries along the Silk Road

From the Director

By: Richard Hodges

Looking back over the last half-century as archaeology has become more scientific, there have been paradoxically few truly great discoveries. The wonders of archaeology, so it seems, were found by Schliemann at Mycenae and Troy, by Carter with his discovery of Tutankhamun, by Bingham when he ventured high into the Andes to Machu Picchu, and […]


From the Editor – Winter 2010

By: Jane Hickman

Travel the Silk Road with the Penn Museum in this special expanded edition of Expedition magazine. This issue was created to compliment Secrets of the Silk Road, a significant new exhibition that opens on February 5 and runs through June 5, 2011. Penn Museum is the only East Coast venue for this remarkable collection of […]